OCEAN PARK — A volunteer participating in roadside cleanup in Ocean Park on April 22 made a shocking discovery: A dangerous homemade explosive grenade.
Looking a little like something out of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, but with a serious potential to do harm, the bomb appeared to consist of explosive material tightly wrapped in contractor’s tape, with a fuse extending from one end. It was found just off U Street.
Volunteer Gloria Buck did everything right when she discovered the object, Village Club President Bonnie Cozby said. The cleanup crew had been provided with a pre-event safety briefing by Pacific County Code Enforcement Officer Tammy Engel. Thanks to Buck and the effective response by cleanup coordinators and law enforcement, no one was harmed.
“Perfect protocol was followed in this situation by Village Club members, that makes me so very happy,” Engel said in a followup email. “Once Gloria realized what she had pulled out of the bushes, she notified the bag pickup driver on U St. [Larry Shaver].”
Shaver sent Engel photos via text message and Engel called 911 while en route to the scene, about five minutes from where she was stationed.
“I placed orange cones around the explosive so no one would inadvertently run it over on the side of the road. I continued to ‘guard’ the explosive for a little over an hour until Deputy Zimmerman arrived,” Engel said. The Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad was summoned and eventually took over the scene.
Cozby said it was later confirmed the object was in fact a homemade bomb. The sheriff’s office did not respond to an inquiry last week about how the object was disposed of and how any investigation is progressing.
Cozby singled Engel out for praise for her effective cooperation with Village Club community-improvement efforts. “She does an excellent job working with us,” Cozby said.
The bomb wasn’t the only unpleasant thing found by volunteers. “Certainly disgusting on a level that is hard to top was a 5-gallon bucket covered with white trash bag. The bucket was filled with human waste. Tammy had the job of dealing with that as well,” Cozby said.